Mamelodi Sundowns pull off major coup in beating Egypt giants to new signing

Mamelodi Sundowns pulled off a major coup with their latest signing Pavol Safranko who had received offers from Egyptian Premier League giants Pyramids.

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The Brazilians have been keen on snapping up the Slovakia striker for well over 12 months now and finally agreed terms last week on a reported €700 000 (R12 million) transfer from Romania side Sepsi OSK.

The South African reported on Sunday that Safranko has agreed to a three-year contract and will arrive in the country after the 2021 European Championship.

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The 26-year-old isn’t well known on the international stage and won’t be familiar to many football fans in the South Africa – let alone Masandawana supporters.

He has scored 15 goals and registered eight assists in 63 matches in Romania’s top-flight.

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Somewhat concerningly in 10 matches for his country he is yet to find the back of the net.

According to the Kickoff website, Pyramids were the first team in Africa to make their interest known, but Safranko is said to have rebuffed their advances.

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When a player arrives at a club – at great expense – in order to balance the books another player of similar cost usually needs to depart.

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Safranko’s pending arrival at the Tshwane giants has raised immediate questions over the long-term future of one, perhaps two, current Mamelodi Sundowns strikers.

Uruguay’s Gaston Sirino has long been a target of former coach Pitso Mosimane and his new Egyptian side, Al Ahly.

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Signing a 26-year-old and cutting the salary of a 30-year-old veteran appears to make sense both financially and in terms of keeping the 10th time PSL champions’ squad age as low as possible.

Another player in reported demand again by Al Ahly is Namibia’s Peter Shalulile.

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However, Shalulile has been in prolific form for Mamelodi Sundowns this season and is still only 27-years-old, suggesting it wouldn’t be in the Brazilians’ best interests to offload their key attacker.

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Where there’s smoke there’s fire however, and this week Mamelodi Sundowns’ co-coach Rulani Mokwena was forced to deny suggestions Shalulile was on his way north to Egypt, calling the reports “hogwash”.

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However, Mokwena did add that Shalulile has a “contract” at Mamelodi Sundowns and people have to pay big money for Peter Shalulile.

Well, we all know that contracts are largely meaningless in the world of football and Al Ahly do have money – lots of it.

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